Instructables
Picture of Triton - Fluorescent Lasercut Floor Lamp
Meet the Triton, a DIY 3-bulb fluorescent floor lamp made from lasercut wood and standard parts from Home Depot.  This set of instructions will give you all the information and files necessary to build your very own Triton.  

If you want to build your own Triton but don't have a laser cutter, vote for the project in the Hurricane Laser Contest.  If I win a laser cutter, I will make sets of the wooden parts and sell them online!

Let's get started!
 
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Step 1: Parts list:

Picture of Parts list:
- 200+ lasercut wood parts (more info in next step)
- 6 fluorescent lamp/bulb sockets (3 packs of 2).  General Electric model BP-FM.  Available at Home Depot or Amazon.
- 3 fluorescent bulbs.  48 inches long.  Size T8.
- 1 GE electronic ballast for 3 or 4 T8 bulbs.  Available at Home Depot or Amazon.
- Gorilla glue (a very small amount)
- 3 standard corner braces.  1.5-inch size.  Available at Home Depot or Amazon.
- 1 3-inch PVC pipe.  47 inches long.  Use a hack saw to cut to length if necessary.
- 15 feet of 12 gauge solid-core wire (not stranded).  Available at Home Depot, but I purchase mine at Ax-Man, a local surplus store. 
- 1 pack (5 qty.) of PowerPlug Luminaire Disconnects (fancy wire connectors).  Available at Home Depot.  
- 7 standard wire connectors.  Available at Home Depot.
- 20 flat-head screws.  1/2-inch in length.  Something like this:  Home Depot.
- 1 wire ring terminal.  Available at Home Depot
- 1 grounded (3-prong) power cord with plug.  IT NEEDS TO HAVE A GROUND OR THE LAMP WON'T TURN ON!  Amazon.
- 1 lamp foot switch.  (Optional, but you'll have to unplug the lamp to turn it off otherwise).  Amazon.


Step 2: Wood parts:

Picture of Wood parts:
The wooden parts are cut from 1/4-inch plywood.  I used birch plywood from Home Depot:  Plywood link

A DXF file with the cutting patterns is attached below.  It is laid out for a 24" x 48" cutter.
dvidals8 months ago
Hello my friend. I wanted to see if you could send me your dxf file. It is impossible to download. Help me please. Your lamp is the best. :(
iFirefly2 years ago
This is a very nice design, congratulations! I have found that fluorescent lamps produce an undesirable amount of heat sometimes and was wondering if you have considered the inclusion of vents in the PVC tube to allow for air circulation, perhaps using a computer/biscuit fan? The vent holes could be vertical slots in back of the light tubes and the fan could draw air inward and upward out the top - like a chnimney. It would be quiet, too.
Pachicito (author)  iFirefly2 years ago
Thank you iFirefly! Glad you like it.

I left the lamp on for several hours to make sure the bulbs wouldn't heat up too much and they really weren't that warm. Perhaps a higher wattage bulb would get a lot hotter.

I really like your idea for using the PVC tube to vent heat! I wish I had thought of that. Unfortunately there are no openings between the bulbs and the PVC in the current design, but with a simple tweak there definitely could be. I'll keep that in mind for Triton 2.0!
Version 2.0 is always more fun to see; I thought of something that may be a downside to my suggestion, though; with a constant-on or even thermostatically-controlled fan going, it would suck in all kinds of dust & pet hair and would be impossible to clean!

Maybe just some slots hidden in the bottom to provide airflow, but are easily cleaned.

I look forward to seeing your other projects. Let us know if temperature is even an issue.
Pachicito (author)  iFirefly2 years ago
I have left lamp on for several hours and temperature is NOT an issue. At least not with the bulbs I am using.

Thanks again for your comments.
GNiessen2 years ago
How long did that take to cut out on the laser? And how many pieces total?

Would it also be good to paint the inside surfaces with a more reflective white or silver, rather then have so much light absorbed by the laser burned edges?

How did you finish the pieces? Individually or by spraying the assembled lamp?
Pachicito (author)  GNiessen2 years ago
I don't have a laser cutter, so I had to hire a local woodworking shop in Minneapolis called Create Laser Arts. So I'm not exactly sure how long it took. There is just over 200 pieces total.

Painting the inside surfaces a lighter color is a great idea! The black edges definitely suck up a lot of light.

I left the pieces unfinished for the prototype. I prefer the unfinished look, and I wasn't sure how hot the bulbs would get once they were surrounded by wood. They definitely stay cool enough to have varnished or painted pieces.
MartijnD2 years ago
Would it be possible to lasercut plexiglass or other transparent materials? Then if all the same shaped wood and plexiglass is in place, it will be less dust/ dirt sensitive and much easier to clean. Instead of crt-tube LED RGB strips can be used, multi color, dimmable,...
Pachicito (author)  MartijnD2 years ago
Great ideas Martijn! The clear pieces would definitely let in more light. I would have liked to use LED bulbs, but wanted all the parts to be readily available.
Foxtrot702 years ago
Excellent Project!!! Two variations come to mind: First: Use acrylic plastic on the central parts where the light shines thru, Second: Use an LED replacement for the fluorescent lamps with RGB LEDs controled via Arduino or your favorite controller for changing mood lighting. Paired with your sound system as color organ to change light colors based on various frequencies.
Pachicito (author)  Foxtrot702 years ago
Thanks Foxtrot! Great idea on the clear central parts! That definitely would let a lot more light shine through.

I looked at LED bulbs and I think they would work great. I decided to go with fluorescent bulbs because they are readily available at any hardware store.

Pairing it the sound system is GENIUS! Definitely will try and integrate that into Triton 2.0!
tech21092 years ago
This is spectacular!! Great design! Cant wait to finish my CNC to make something like this!
Pachicito (author)  tech21092 years ago
Thanks, Tech! The possibilites of CNC are endless! Although, you can't beat the smell of lasercut wood. Mmmm... :)
redsunmtm2 years ago
by the way, NEVER SWITCH THE GROUND !!! it must always stay connected (but i am asking why you said that it wouldn't work without it ?!? it can work without, but it is safer with it ! that's all...)
Pachicito (author)  redsunmtm2 years ago
The instructions that came with the Electronic Ballast said it needed to be grounded in order to function. Perhaps the old non-electronic ballasts worked differently, or maybe they just said that for safety reasons.
I think what he meant was:

Always just connect the ground straight. you will not find a switch that switches ground, because that is incredibly unsafe. Ground is a safety thing.. in case anything goes wrong: it will dump the electricity out it, as opposed to into you.

(So, never fear: you did it right... even if accidentally.)
Pachicito (author)  scarrmrcc2 years ago
This would explain why I searched for hours and never found a switch with a ground. :)

Thank you for clarifying.
Ziranna2 years ago
I really love this design it's so different and simple and elegant. But doesn't the bulbs get hot?
Fluorescent bulbs don't get hot.
Pachicito (author)  baldmosher2 years ago
Right you are! They just warm up a bit.
Pachicito (author)  Ziranna2 years ago
Thanks Z! I was worried about the heat too, but fluorescent bulbs don't get nearly as hot as regular bulbs. I left the lamp on for several hours and was still able to hold the bulbs in my hand. Definitely not hot enough to affect the wood.
PutzMeyer2 years ago
Great job Joe. I love the design and you laid the plans out very well too.

You Start manufacturing them and have David start selling them for you.

Very attractive lamp.
Pachicito (author)  PutzMeyer2 years ago
Thanks, Jay! I didn't realize you were on Instructables. I'm definitely going to try out that BBQ recipe. Looks delicious!
Elegant and modern. Thanks.
Pachicito (author)  meremoonphile2 years ago
Thanks!